DANG WE ARE IN IT WITH THE SUMMER. And by in it, I actually mean almost out of it which is not ideal but whatever let's ignore. I'm headed to a sweet lil casita in Asheville, NC in a few days and I'm making lists out the wazoo about what to take/what to eat/how to live my best summer life. Are you also going on vacation? What are you eating? Maybe you should do some of these things.
I've written elsewhere about how I travel (here about solo travel and here about food travel) but I consider Travel to be different than Vacation. This trip is about to be summer vacation and I'm not trying to expand any horizons, I'm just trying to lay on different sun-drenched surfaces and drink cold alcoholic items
I'm bringing my Kitchen-aid mixer because baking is a treat and I don't get to do enough of it. I'm bringing 2 very sharp knives and a big cutting board. I'm bringing my favorite summer wine (Lambrusco Rosso, not sweet) and I know my parents are going to stock the bar. Yeah, that's how we party. Someone will also bring good olive oil, salt and A PEPPER GRINDER, and some good spatulas.
As a person who loves to cook, I'm leaning into some fun project dishes that I'm going to feed to my family. I'm also looking for local ingredients to shake up my normal cooking routine. I'm headed straight to the farmer's market on my first morning in town to stock up on gorgeous produce that I can cook/bake/snack on all week long.
A few of my projects:
Shrubs of all kinds. Whatever fruit I can find will be shrubbed, but I'm thinking especially about plum + mint, raspberry + peach, and blackberry. This means bringing a few jars and some champagne vinegar. I'm using this as my jumping off point.
Chocolate chip cookies. Cooking local food doesn't necessarily mean exclusively produce and other fresh things. Asheville is home to tons of artisans including French Broad Chocolate, and I'm going to use their single origin chocolate chips to make the most epic batch of chocolate chip cookies ever using this recipe. Add a kitchen scale to my list.
(Here's a pro-tip: I'm going to triple this recipe and then freeze half of it in individual balls and BRING IT HOME to stow away in my freezer. That's called bringing vacation home, y'all.)
Homemade pasta: one of my favorite things. Gonna top it with local cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Simple/stupid good. Here's my guide. Add to list: pasta maker, cheese grater, good parm.
But I'm not planning to cook all the meals. I've got my eye on some excellent restaurant experiences, including a daily bike ride to the best donut shop in the entire world. Is it a coincidence that the rental is biking distance to this shop? ...Probably not. We've got 2 reservations at fancier places, but I'm also planning on doing some good takeout/quick meal/eating outside situations.
I'll report back in a few weeks with a full-out Asheville roundup. In the meantime, feel free to follow along live and in the moment on Instagram. Please alert me to your vacations plans and what you're going to eat/cook/buy/drink/do. Cannon ball!